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Uses of Filters, Air Purifiers and Cleaners   

Purifiers are generally classified according to the technology employed to remove various sized particles and/or gases from the air. The general types of technologies available for use in these include mechanical filters, electronic air filters and hybrid filters for the capture of particles and gas phase filters to control odors. Those which operate by chemical process, such as ozonization, also exist and vary in style. The selection of the different types of air cleaners should depend on the intended use of the filter. Filters' wide applications include:

  1. protecting the HVAC equipment and components,
  2. protecting the furnishings and decor of occupied spaces
  3. reducing housekeeping and building maintenance
  4. reducing furnace and heating equipment fire hazards
  5. protecting the general well-being of residents.
  6. The first four of these applications can be accomplished with the lower efficiency filters generally used in central HVAC systems. The last, which has to do with health issues, will require much higher performance filtration.

It may not always be possible to install this equipment in older existing environmental systems. Thus, self-contained portable room filters must sometimes be used to obtain sufficiently high levels of filtration effectiveness.

The efficiency of filters is measured in terms of the particle size that the device can capture. In most cases, very small particles are the ones that penetrate deep into the lungs, causing health problems. Look for mechanical filters such as HEPA filters and electronic filters that can effectively trap large and small particles.

The reviewed data provide little reason to endorse the use of inexpensive table top, appliance-type filters, regardless of the technology they employ. In general, high-efficiency particle collection requires larger filters or electronic air filters to ensure adequate removal of particulates as well as promoting better comfort levels. The easier it is to breathe, the more comfortable you are. It is that simple.


HVAC is the central heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning system of a residence or business.
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